Clear instructions for removing broken-down vehicles

instructie voor pechverplaatsingen

Wednesday 25 September 2013
Broken-down vehicles that represent a risk to other traffic must be removed from the road before breakdown assistance can be provided. This is the message of the procedure laid down by Rijkswaterstaat for dealing with reports of broken-down vehicles involving passenger cars. The procedure is not new, but has been elaborated and put down on paper in the so-called Instruction card on handling broken-down passenger vehicles (LCM). The instruction card gives step-by-step instructions for how staff of traffic control centres and road inspectors should deal with broken-down vehicles on motorways and other major trunk routes.
instructie voor pechverplaatsingen
The procedure specifies that upon receiving a report of a broken-down vehicle, the traffic control centre must assess whether the breakdown represents a hazard for passing traffic. The most important criterion is the distance between the broken-down vehicle and the nearest carriageway. If that distance is less than one metre, the vehicle represents a hazard. The distance from the carriageway is just one of the circumstances that can result in the same conclusion.

If traffic safety is indeed at risk, the traffic control centre calls the National Central Reporting Point (LCM) of Stichting Incident Management Nederland, with an order to have the broken-down vehicle transported to a safe location. The LCM then calls in the IM recovery company contracted in the district in question. If the traffic control centre identifies no risk to passing traffic, a road inspector is sent as quickly as possible to the report location. The inspector must then determine in situ whether the vehicle is indeed safe.

If the road inspector deems the location unsafe, an order will still be sent out to the LCM to carry out a broken-down vehicle removal. The same applies if the traffic control centre judges that a road inspector will not be available to visit the scene within thirty minutes. In that case, the LCM will be instructed to ask the recovery company to send out two vehicles: one to carry out the actual vehicle recovery and one to secure the incident location.

The instruction card lays down explicitly that recovery companies can also report broken-down vehicles to the traffic control centres. These reports will then be dealt with in the same way as reports received from road inspectors, the police or ANWB car owners club.

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